Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 7.COM 10.1

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Burkina Faso has requested International Assistance in the amount of US$262,080 for Inventory and promotion of intangible cultural heritage in Burkina Faso:

This project involves the establishment of an inventory on the elements of intangible cultural heritage generated by the ethno-cultural communities in Burkina Faso. It will enable the inventorying of intangible cultural heritage and provide quantitative and qualitative data on the elements present in the country’s territory, in order to identify their state of viability and ensure their promotion. The project will be implemented in two major phases: first, a pilot phase that will involve two regions with six ethno-cultural communities and second, a generalization phase that will involve all regions and national communities. Its principle objectives are to develop a national strategy for inventorying and promoting intangible cultural heritage; to educate communities, policy-makers and the public about the importance of intangible cultural heritage; to build stakeholder capacity in the safeguarding of such heritage; to make an inventory of intangible cultural heritage elements in the field; to identify elements based on their state of viability; and to disseminate the results of the inventory at national and international levels via a database and website, and catalogues and brochures. Its implementation will also require the development of a national strategy for inventorying and promoting intangible cultural heritage, and the establishment and operationalization of a supervisory structure to bring together all stakeholders involved in its safeguarding.

  1. Decides that, from the information provided in file 00678, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in Paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:

A.1:   The inventory of intangible cultural heritage will be drawn up with the wide participation of communities, ten of which have been consulted at several stages of elaborating the request; they will be represented by their traditional and customary chiefs in the regional and national monitoring teams of the project;

A.2:   The budget is clear, detailed and well-structured in accordance with the proposed activities and work plan; the amount of assistance appears to be appropriate;

A.3:   The proposed activities, divided into a pilot phase and an implementation phase, are well conceived to address the identified gaps and to gradually build the project’s progress on the achievements and lessons learned from the pilot phase; the implementation strategy seems effective, thanks especially to a decentralized coordination mechanism aimed at providing a close and regular monitoring;

A.4:   The sustainability of the project is addressed through the creation of structures at the national and regional levels as well as through the establishment of local inventory teams that will not only update the inventories but also continue the work of raising awareness of the importance of intangible cultural heritage;

A.5:   The State Party contributes a quarter of the total project budget, allowing its contribution to be distinguished from that requested from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund;

A.6:   Building up and reinforcing capacities of a wide range of stakeholders in the field of inventorying intangible cultural heritage are central to the proposed programme and among its main results;

A.7:   Between 2004 and 2007, the State Party benefitted from financial assistance from UNESCO to support intangible cultural heritage safeguarding activities; the work foreseen in the contracts was accomplished successfully and, in conformity with UNESCO regulations, the contracts were closed;

10(a):    The project is national in scope and involves national implementing partners;

10(b):    By strengthening both institutional and individual capacities for inventorying intangible cultural heritage, the project could attract new financial and technical partners;

  1. Approves the request in the amount of US$262,080;
  2. Commends the State Party for a request that demonstrates clarity and consistency and the will to strengthen the capacities of a significant group of stakeholders in a sustainable manner;
  3. Recommends that, in addition to the wide range of national and regional stakeholders who will participate in drawing up inventories, the State Party fully involve the communities in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the activities and that their representatives, including the informants, be compensated just as are the other participants.